The fall semester is nearing its long-awaited end for HBCU students, which means the New Year is just around the corner. But before students head home for the holidays, check out some of the latest news from Historically Black Colleges and Universities around the country.

President of Spelman College in Atlanta Dr. Beverly Tatum was named as one of the 2013 recipients of the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award. The annual award recognizes exceptional college presidents across the country; Tatum is the first HBCU president as well as the first president of a Georgia university to win the honor. “It is a tremendous honor to receive this recognition.  I am grateful to work with colleagues who believe in the transformative power of education, and who understand the opportunities we provide are not for our students alone, but for the communities they will influence when they leave our gates. I am thrilled to receive this award and use it in the service of our mission,” said President Tatum in a press release. Tatum’s leadership has led to the school’s success in the STEM field and community service. She has been the school’s president since 2002. Via Spelman

The President of Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee Wesley McClure passed away on Dec. 6. He was 71-years-old. Cause of death has not been released. McClure, a 1964 graduate of Lane, was the school’s ninth president and served for 17 years. Bishop Lawrence Reddit, chairman of the Lane College Board of Trustees, issued a statement following McClure’s passing. “President McClure loved Lane College with all his being, giving himself untiringly to its progress. His presidency has been marked with outstanding growth in the student body and the campus, and with exemplary personal and professional recognition among his peers. He will be missed.” On Sunday, the Lane community remembered McClure during their annual Christmas concert. Arrangements have not been announced. Via The Jackson Sun

HBCU Leaders Honor the Life of Nelson Mandela:

The passing of Nelson Mandela, peaceful resistance icon and first democratically elected president of South Africa, cast a pall over the HBCU community. HBCU Presidents across the country took a moment to honor Mandela’s life. Some of their statements are below.

“The entire Morehouse College family joins the global community in mourning the death of Nelson Mandela—a true champion of social justice and reconciliation. Yet of equal importance, he was unquestionably a man of genuine faith and deep humanity. And through his extraordinary grace and dignity, he bore witness to the indomitable human spirit that resides in all of us.”–Dr. John S. Wilson, President, Morehouse College


“At Howard, we have groups, programs and trips inspired by Mandela’s motto. Our School of Social Work continues to expand its work in South Africa, most recently joining forces with its South African counterparts on Human Rights Day in Cape Town during the School of Social Work’s 2010 Spring Break Service-Learning project. Howard also continues to offer its students the opportunity to explore the social and economic transformation of South Africa through a study abroad program at the University of Western Cape… In sum, Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time. His example will live forever within the Howard University community and around the world.” -Dr. Wayne Frederick, Interim President, Howard University


“We at Johnson C. Smith University are deeply saddened by the death of former President Nelson Mandela. The great life he led has inspired all who are oppressed, deprived of their freedoms and denied their rights as human beings.  His life’s work will stand as an example for people around the world who are committed to social justice, social change and affirming the human dignity of every individual. His legacy of moral courage is so great that it will live beyond the boundaries of time and place.” –Dr. Ronald Carter, President, Johnson C. Smith University


Former President Mandela received honorary degrees from Morehouse in 1990 and from Howard in 1994.